Finding an audience in History

As a military historian specifically interested in the German Army during the Second World War, Dr David Stahel has a core audience of academics but a broader audience of people with a deep interest in, and knowledge of, anything connected with war.

“A production company that makes documentaries told me they never get as much feedback on any of the documentaries they make as they do for the military history ones,” Stahel says.

After touring Russia for the History channel’s Hitler’s Frozen Army in 2012 David has since appeared in numerous episodes of World War II: Battles Won and Lost (2017) and World War: Total War (forthcoming 2018). He has also conducted numerous radio interviews, especially around commemorative dates on The Voice of Russia (the English language service for Russia).

To illustrate the kind of popular audience military history attracts, in 2014 Stahel gave a lecture for the USS Silversides Museum in Michigan via Skype, and the lecture was loaded onto YouTube. To date, the video boasted more than 71,000 views with a later lecture gaining 16,000 views.

He has since written or edited 8 books as well as numerous articles, including for the Australian War Memorial’s popular Wartime magazine. His engagement also includes battlefield study tours of the Second World War with students of the Australian Defence Force Academy. In 2015 they visited Germany and Poland and 2016 it was Japan and Hawaii.